June 18th, 2010
12:03 PM ET
5 years ago

Romney rips Obama's handing of BP oil spill

Mitt Romney accused President Obama Friday of mishandling the BP oil spill.
Mitt Romney accused President Obama Friday of mishandling the BP oil spill.

Charleston, South Carolina (CNN) - Mitt Romney accused President Obama Friday of mishandling the BP oil spill, and specifically charged that the president had a dangerous hands-off approach in the early days of the crisis.

Romney, appearing a campaign stop in South Carolina for gubernatorial hopeful Nikki Haley, called the Obama administration's response to the spill "ineffective" and said the White House has relied too heavily on BP to cap the oil leak.

"In this kind of a crisis situation, the president's response should have been to step in, bring in the experts, people from various oil companies, from leading institutions, academic and engineering firms and look at the options for actually capping this oil spill and then actually making those decisions," Romney said.

He added, "That is something which he has delegated to BP. As the company responsible for causing the spill in the first place, I think it was a mistake to rely on BP for 60 days or so to make the decisions on how to cap the oil spill. They have been ineffective in that regard."

The former Massachusetts governor and possible 2012 presidential candidate would not comment on a controversial remark by Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas. Barton apologized Thursday for saying that BP's $20 billion fund to pay for oil spill damages was the result of a "shakedown" from the White House.

Romney said he is "pleased that funds are being put aside" to help Gulf residents affected by the spill.


Filed under: BP • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (195 Responses)
  1. GOP = "I hope he fails"

    Why are these people taken seriously?

    So when he takes action.....he's a tyranical socialist bent on detroying American.

    When he's slow to act.....he has a "dangerous hands-off approach"

    Why are these people taken serously?

    June 18, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  2. GL

    Romney, appearing a campaign stop in South Carolina for gubernatorial hopeful Nikki Haley, called the Obama administration's response to the spill "ineffective" and said the White House has relied too heavily on BP to cap the oil leak.
    ------------------------------------–

    Why do the Republicans continue to campaign and not be asked by the media what is their plan other then run around the country talking bad about our President. The media is not doing their job when they continue to cover the Republican party with out asking them what is their plans to get the American people back on track. I FAULT THE MEDIA for all this anger out their becasue they are letting the Republicans party get away with not being responsible for helping the American people get out of the mess their party got us in.

    June 18, 2010 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  3. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Louisiana is part of the United States and Republicans are treating this disaster as if they have no responsibility to help but only use it as their own personal political tool. Barton said it best calling it a "shakedown" on BP because Republicans are for big corporations and Texas is fighting to make sure big oil is not hurt by this oil spill.

    June 18, 2010 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  4. B- The President is a REAL LEADER

    "Romney said he is "pleased that funds are being put aside" to help Gulf residents affected by the spill." I guess Romney forgot to thank teh President for getting those funds put aside while he was talking out both sides of his mouth. President Obama is fighting for the people. Now we know that at least 116 house republicans are fighting for BP. Thank you Rep. Joe Barton ( and Bachmann) for showing us what 8 years of Bush II and a 75 mil cap on damages gift to the some big corporations has wrought. barton would rather bankrupt the country for political gains then hold the true criminal responsible. If the President was savy enough to get a guilty plea from BP and get them to agree to pay these funds, then GREAT for OUR PRESIDENT and THE PEOPLE OF THE GULF. Joe Barton revealed the "senseless" GOP attack machine on our President and the good moral citizens of this country. Keep your apology!! I'm sure BP paid for it. Thanks for showing your true colors. I'm getting tired of conservatives saying Obama is at fault for the oil spill on one hand and then kissing up to BP with the other. You can't have it both ways. President Obama is a problem solver. He has a team of intellectuals that mostly work well together. He tries to solve problems and I feel comfortable with his approach. I'm glad he is the president because I don't know if a previous president would have been able ( or would want to because of their loyalties to Company over person) to get 20 billion from an oil company ON TOP OF any damages to paid in future court hearings. ( I think BP paid less than 50 million for the spill in Alaska in 2006) Most of our politicians would not tell you where the real problems stem from. Barton and BP should make a buddy movie! Let's figure out safer ways to extract oil, but not blindly ignore foreseeable consequences. BP had a pipeline burst in 2006 in Alaska and an explosion in Texas in 2005. Seems like there is a pattern there, that wasn't highlighted during the BUSHII years. It would be nice if the media could outline the fines paid by corporations during past oil spills to give readers a clear view of how good our current President is. Go OBAMA! Thank you for your level headed pragmatism and honest attempts to get solutions.-note:for all who say there is a legal issue, Our President and BP have the right to mediate and contract. Also, Rep. Joe "BP" Barton by using the word 'shakedown' and pointing to our President and Attorney general, who happen to be non-100%white, to protect a foreign oil company who lied about the amount of oil in the gulf, smells of the GOP machine's tactic to garner to irrational "hate".
    Additionally, riddle me this, who does Rep. Joe Barton think should pay for the oil spill? 21 years later, people are still in court trying to get money from the damage the 1989 Exxon-Valdez spill caused

    Shame on at least 116 House Republican members. What a misconstructed flip flopping web they weave. This was not some spur of the moment comment. This was a drafted, poorly executed political swipe at the President. The Republican Study Committee (RSC) made up of 116 Republican house members including Joe Barton, Tom Price, Michele Bachmann and interestingly enough Eric Cantor and Mike Pence (both who threatened Barton to recant or lose his committee seat), all seem to back Tom Price’s comment that stated BP was the VICTIM of a shakedown. Tom Price stated on the RSC website on June 16 “
“BP’s reported willingness to go along with the White House’s new fund suggests that the Obama Administration is hard at work exerting its brand of Chicago-style shakedown politics. *** It is the same mentality that believes an economic crisis or an environmental disaster is the best opportunity to pursue a failed liberal agenda. The American people know much better.” The RSC is running for cover, and Barton is the road kill. They ran Barton over with a bus and dumped a BP oil rig on top of his head. I guess they figured he’d be dumb enough to read such drivel.

    June 18, 2010 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  5. Brandon

    Romney first speak about how your "BP Apology" party aka Rep. Barton "apology tour", then you can discuss Pres. Obama.

    June 18, 2010 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  6. John D.

    BP in the events of the past five years has proved they are the worst offenders in the oil and gas industry. In 2005 the were felony negligent in the the texas oil refinery explosion the Baker commission found Bp had cut corners to place profit over safety . Bp vowed that it would make changes and in 2006 created the worst Oil Spill on land in America with Alaskan North Slope incident.

    Bp has been cited for over 750 violations by osha since 2007 next offended in the industry 8 over the same period. BP record for safety concerns over profit speak for themselves deemed the most unsafe operations in the oil industry. over five years.

    BP has caused the largest disaster due to oil drilling ever in the north American continent in doing so has been cover up the facts since day one. First citing 1,000 bbl. of oil knowing the gusher was producing at least 35,000 to as much as 80,000 a day . The Key decisions on the rig have been made with costs concerns Haliburton stressed in a report to use 21 sleeves and tyvec approach Bp used six sleeves and a straight pipe saving 12 million and approximately 32 hours An acoustic test to see if the cement refractoring Job was skipped this would have insured the cement was permament and would hold the cement did not and they sent the company away that was to perform said test saved 120,000 and eight hours . When it all went to the bottom they have delayed the response of the federal by directly releasing false information to the size and scope of leak. they did not allow the hd footage to be released to the government knowing our experts could directly estimate the size and scope of said leak.

    BP is still engaged heavily in the bury this case in finding favorable judges to over see their case they are not cooperating with Congressional Investigation . They Still think they own the government. They have run maverick long enough and it is time to pull there plug stop issuing oil contracts suspend leases do not give them lucrative oil for defense contracts bring these criminals to Justice.

    This corperation is not a friend to the gulf coast they are not a partner in the oil industry they are criminals and enemies of the state and should be held to the fullest extent of the Law of Our Land....

    June 18, 2010 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  7. Ryan

    So what he was saying is that there should have been more government intervention, yet on every single other issue where there is government intervention, he screams there needs to be less.

    All politicians are hypocritical, unfortunately it's the Republicans that are being most hypocritical right now (since they aren't in power).

    June 18, 2010 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  8. Wisconsinite

    And it's stupidity like this that is the reason you will never again hold a public office, Mittens!

    June 18, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  9. ART

    Yes Mr Romney you know so much, he did not delegate to BP it is their responsibility to clean their mess up, stop second guessing and just retire to Utah and leave the President to run the country like he was elected to do. I know it is hard to see an african american in such a position as they are not afforded the same stature in your pseudo religion, but get over it

    June 18, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  10. MB Seattle

    Mitt you got great 20/20 hindsight on that one.

    June 18, 2010 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  11. CNN=corporate news network

    Hey Mitt: Obama did everything you thought he should have done. THE problem is that we shouldn't be drilling in water that is a mile deep without any contingency for dealing with, oh, say, if the platform blew up and sank! Contingency planning – what a concept!

    I think the public should be very wary and prepared for eventually when the republicans actually are in control of something ever again. We need to be forward thinking when dealing with potential catastrophes.

    June 18, 2010 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  12. NYC REPUB

    Romney, I can't wait for you and Obama to have your 3 debates in the Presidential election............Obama is going to eat you for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

    You see friends, it's one thing for any individual to talk about a person to others, it's another to face off face to face idea for idea...........The GOP, can't out debate yhis President......... LMAO :-)
    Obama/Biden 2012.

    June 18, 2010 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  13. mms55

    the fact is nothing that obama did would be enough for the gop and if anyone thinks it would be different under a gop candidate their lying to them selves.i think the president has done all that he can do period.i'am tired of the gop trying to use this spill politically though.

    June 18, 2010 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  14. Brian in Maine

    Romney is like a used car salesman, he'll tell you what you want to hear, but deep down you know he's full of crap and doesn't give a damn about you.

    Here's a case in which it wouldn't have mattered what Obama did, it was going to be wrong from the word go. If things were different and the president was more aggressive in his actions early on, Mitt would have criticized the president for getting in the way of the only entity capable of fixing the problem.

    June 18, 2010 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  15. robert - dallas

    well the king of "monday morning quarterbacking" is at it again...i guess since he's out of politics he has plenty of time to pump his throwing arm all day long....loser....

    June 18, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  16. Wil in the VA.

    Hey Mitt you loss to John McCain do you really think you would be bright enough to have done a better job, I don't. It's very easy to be in the stands and complain because your are not quailfied to be coach.

    June 18, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  17. Shucks

    I would be much more concerned about Mr BP from Texas comments than anything that Romney has to say about the White House handling a disaster that only occurred because of deregulation by the republican party and Mr. Barton.

    June 18, 2010 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  18. Linda

    blah blah blah Romney – you do not know your backside from page one! If you did, you would know that the Administration had people in place immediately following the explosion of the oil rig – people –
    experts, scientists, Department of Energy.

    You are an idiot mouthpiece for the party of NO – mistruths and
    lies. Perhaps Romney should go to school and learn how to
    read!

    June 18, 2010 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  19. Jim In Miami

    mitt – the only people who listen to you are moderate to modestly conservative republicans – and there are very, very few of them

    June 18, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  20. GL

    Romney, appearing a campaign stop in South Carolina for

    Romney said.

    I think it was a mistake to rely on BP for 60 days or so to make the decisions on how to cap the oil spill. They have been ineffective in that regard."

    HYPOCRITES – I THOUGHT YOUR PARTY DIDN'T WANT GOVENMENT IN THE PRIVATE BUSINES TAKING OVER.

    It was your party and the Tea Baggers screaming all last year and this year about Socialist becasue President Obama helped out the Banks and Auto Industry. Now that President Obama let the Private Oil Company handle their own mess, you Republicans are screaming President Obama make a mistake for rely on BP. What a joke the whole Republican party have become.

    You fools just thinks the American people are just too stupid to realize the Republicans was against President Obama helping out the Private sector before they were for it and calling President Obama Socialist for helping out the Private sector.

    If people didn't think the GOP and their Tea Baggers were nothing but a big joke they do now.

    REPUBLICANS CAN NOT HAVE IT BOTH WAYS REPUBLICANS.

    June 18, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  21. John D.

    Lets list the impending charges
    negligent homicide leading to the death of 11 U.S citizens
    obstuction of relaying the correct information of a large spilll of petroleum base 51 accounts one per day per non release of hd footage
    destruction of eco system created an undue hardship on the citizens of U.S.
    Gross indeference to the enviremental laws of the united state
    bribing fedral officials in mms
    gross indeference to the laws of the international protecting envirement as set by geneva and u.n.
    directlyu misleading fedreal and state officials in a series of false and misleading statements
    depraved indeference to the laws of the caribeean soverign nations
    perjury to a federal congressional hearing stating no diffence between norway dilling vs gulf drilling....
    this corporation should be treated as harshly as al quadi because if that pulled off a caper like that they be singing for years
    eat your heart out usaoma bp destroyed our ocean....

    June 18, 2010 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  22. Ruth

    Another sore republican loser that just can't stand the idea of a black man being in the white house. Mitt Romney is the typican republican–white, rich and old. He will do or say anything to keep the average American fooled and in the dark. Pretty good job, Mitt.

    June 18, 2010 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  23. Sniffit

    Magic undies...too tight...losing oxygen to brain...quick...must brush hair...cowlick unacceptable....

    June 18, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  24. Sniffit

    See what happens when you don't report all the facts CNN? D-bag's with anchorman hair get to make all sorts of misrepresentations and his worshippers believe them.

    June 18, 2010 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  25. Lori in St Pete

    The rethugliban are siding with BP and corporate America over we the people. Remember in November and send the remaining rethugilban in DC to the unemployment line.

    June 18, 2010 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
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